July 2012

Sin Eaters

by Lori Dwyer on July 31, 2012 · 5 comments

Folklore tells us that ‘sin eaters’ are sourced from the lowest castes of society past– beggars, thieves, bastards, peasants, and probably single mothers and whores as well.

The task of the sin eater was simple– to relinquish the dead of their earthly misdeeds. The family placed water by the corpse of their beloved, bread was broken on their chest, salt sprinkled across their stomach.

The sin eater partakes of the bread and salt, quenches their thirst with the water. Depending on custom, tradition or rumor, sin eaters were paid a pittance, not at all, or took the pennies from the eyes of the deceased as their remittance.


Occasionally, I receive an email that haunts me, one that leaves an image that burns my retina like a bright flash.

(Orange rope, blue shirt; green plastic bag, red gas cylinder…)

I never dislike receiving them, never mind reading them. I just try to make sure I’m in a good place when I open them, so I am prepared… I make sure I open them on good days, so the effect they have on my afternoon will be minimal.

I understand… on so many levels, I get it. This is so rare, what I’ve seen, what we’ve been through; and it’s so taboo to be the one left behind, after a suicide. No one speaks about it, it seems. No one except me.

And I find hands reaching for me, constantly seeking me out in this darkness. People who have seen the same. People who have a picture in their mind somewhere, something ugly.

I take thehorrific pictures burned into their mind like shots from a bright camera flash along with my own burning pain and lock them away in place no one else can see. Somewhere where their ugliness won’t spill out and taint the entire world with it’s shrieking trauma, it’s enveloping velvet darkness.

(turn on the light an she’s just there, just ninety centimeters away hanging by her neck and my God she’s been there two days)
Evry comment and every email I get, from every person who reads my stuff, gives me something. Every one adds a tiny piece of happy, a tiny piece of OK, a tiny piece of self esteem… and they all build up to create a finger-knitted barrier of belief in myself. Something that helps me survive when everything else falls down.

But I will admit that some emails make me jealous, when I let myself be… jealous that others have me, where I did not. And instead of being locked up and held tight, my ugly truth was spread all over and everywhere.

It’s not that I’m ashamed of it– I never will be, I don’t think. It’s more a matter of the pity my reality inspires when I see it on the faces of people who know almost kills me some days. It’s the only thing that comes to close to breaking me, ever… seeing the reality of how very difficult this actually must be, in the stark normality of others eyes.

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The Muse Wars- Round Two.

by Lori Dwyer on July 30, 2012 · 3 comments

Last month on RRSAHM saw the return of the Muse Wars. It’s not as violent as it may sound, I promise…

The object of the Muse Wars, originally the brain-baby of Mel at The Things I’d Tell You, is to get your written electricity sparking and encourage everyone to get creative… how many of us are blogging right now, who haven’t written fiction since high school?

If you read that last sentence with a pang of regret for the tales you used to weave in your mind, just to pass time and for the simple fun of it; a happy nostalgia for the way your head used to feel populated with the most interesting kind of characters… this may just be the meme for you.

This Month’s Image.
In the interest of variability and accessibility, I’m making a point of choosing completely random pictures, unrelated in any way… have a pizza.


The Muse Wars, Round Two-  The DownLow 

The object of the game is- write a piece of fiction (poetry, short story, song, shopping list, whatever) taking your inspiration from the picture above. (Feel free to copy and paste it into your post.)
The experts say modern attention spans last 1000 words, maximum (keep that in mind). Past experience has taught us that it’s easier to play the game if you don’t read other people’s stories first- but the choice is yours.

Publish your piece, return to this post and add your link to list below.
The linky list is open from now until Friday, 24th of August; and if we have fun we’ll play this game with a new image every month.

Share the love– read other entries, leave a comment; grab the button below and paste it somewhere on your blog. If you like, you can have the entire linky list on your blog too.

If you don’t have a blog, you can certainly still play! Either email your story to me for publication on RRSAHM, or you can upload your story here, copy the link and add it the list. And please don’t be shy- email me if you need help with any of the techy stuff.

Anyone can play The Muse Wars and all entries are welcome.

Muse Wars- Prescribed For Writers Block and Blog Disillusion


If you’d like this linky on your own post, grab the code from here….

My own pizza-based (heh) short story coming Wednesday, same jellybean place, same jellybean channel. Stay tuned.

And… happy writing!

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It has been a strange kind of week… wading in salt water, almost buoyant enough to float, but not quite.

Hating myself just a bit. Uncelebrating my third wedding anniversary.

And- just for the Universe to really be a bitch- our cat, Mr Tree, has been missing for five days.

I’m assuming he’s dead.

I’m not surprised.


On a slightly (heh) happier note, there are all kinds of giveaways going on around here. There’s still time to order yum cha from Chan’s and win a big arse TV to eat it in front of.

And– in case you forget what your children look like, being so engrossed in Chinese food and 3Dness- the lovely people at Stuck On You have given me a few sets of personalised ID labels to give away.

The Chop and I got to try them out first, just to make sure they stick. And they do. To everything. Pens, pencils, lunchboxes, school bags, drink bottles. Even shoes. They don’t fade, don’t run and can even go in the dishwasher (not the shoes, obviously).

To win one of three Stuck On You 5+ Value Packs personalised with your child’s name, let me know in a comment on this post, what piece of stuff is your child always losing? (And here, it’s socks… anyone would think the children were centipedes)

Dots added for privacy. Heh, again.

The answer that amuses or confuses me the most wins. My decision is final and no discussion will be entered into.

This one’s open to Australian residents only.
Entries open Friday 27th July and close midnight (AEST) on Friday 10th August.

The winner will be announced via RRSAHM’s FaceBook page and Twitter feed, and probably in the newsletter as well. Winners will be emailed and have 48 hours to respond to that email with their postal address, or the prize will be redrawn.

Comments must have a valid email address to be included in this competition- I cannot stress this point enough, people. The number of times I pick a winner and have no contact address for them… it makes me sad. If you’re on Blogger, make sure you’re logged in then click this link to set your email address to reply-able. Cheers.

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